Granite Bay Student Wins 2003 National Peace Essay Contest

Kevin Kiley of Granite Bay, California wins first prize in 2003 contest.

WASHINGTON—Kevin Kiley, a senior at Granite Bay High School, Granite Bay, California, won first prize in the 2002-2003 National Peace Essay Contest, sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Kiley's essay, "Kuwait and Kosovo: The Harm Principle and Humanitarian War," was judged to be the best of more than 1,250 entries received from high school students in 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and overseas schools. Kiley was presented with his award at the National Peace Essay Contest Awards Banquet on June 25 at the conclusion of the Washington awards week organized annually by the Institute for the essay contest's state winners.

As the national winner, Kiley will a receive a $10,000 college scholarship from the U.S. Institute of Peace. The second- and third-place winners, who will receive $5,000 and $2,500 respectively, are Edward Su of the North Carolina EFC Church Youth Group in Cary, North Carolina, and Terence M. Merritt of Los Alamos High School, Los Alamos, New Mexico.

The U.S. Institute of Peace has sponsored the contest annually since 1986 in the belief that expanding the study of peace, justice, freedom and security is vital to civic education. This year, entrants were asked to write essays of 1,500 words or fewer on whether there can ever be a "just" war.

"Kevin Kiley's essay examining two very different conflicts to see how they measured against the criteria of 'just war' was the kind of beautifully written and sophisticated argument that you would be lucky to find in a graduate student essay," said Holly Burkhalter, a member of the Institute's Board of Directors and of the essay contest selection committee. "He is a credit to his school, and has a promising career ahead in the field of peace studies."

Kiley researched and wrote his essay with the guidance of Rita Pritchard, Granite Bay High School's essay contest coordinator.

Throughout high school, Kiley has been involved in Granite Bay's speech and debate program, participating in such events as the Lincoln-Douglas Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking. Kiley has competed in the California Speech Championship for three consecutive years and has attended the National Tournament twice. He has also served as both writer and editor for the high school newspaper, and has played on the varsity tennis team for four years. In the fall, Kiley will enter Harvard University, where he plans to study government.

"The challenge of making durable peace in today's violent international conflicts is one of the most complicated foreign policy problems facing the United States today," said Pamela Aall, director of the Institute's Education Program. "Through the essay contest, students not only analyze what these challenges are, but they also design policies that can help."

June 30, 2003